silverberry Elaeagnaceae Elaeagnus
commutata Bernh. ex Rydb. symbol: ELCO
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to ovate, entire margins, 1 to 3 inches long, somewhat thickened silvery-shiny above and below with numerous silvery white scales.
Flower: Species is dioecious; male and female flowers both yellow, 1/2 inch long, corolla tubular and 4-lobed, fragrant, appearing in spring.
Fruit: A silvery-shiny drupe-like achene, 1/2 inch long and somewhat elongated, ripen in early fall and often occur in great abundance, edible but somewhat dry.
Twig: Slender, light brown and covered in reddish brown, scruffy scales; buds stalked with valvate scales, flower buds more round.
Bark: Shiny reddish gray with numerous lenticels that develop into larger cracks and splits.
Form: A small shrub reaching up to 15 feet in height with a dense rounded crown. Root suckers are common, so often in dense stands.
Looks like: buffaloberry - autumn-olive - Russian-olive - roundleaf buffaloberry
Additional Range Information: Elaeagnus commutata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting silverberry.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson